monarch on milkweed

Butterfly gardens need more than nectar

  by Connie Oswald Stofko If you want to attract adult butterflies to your garden, you can choose plants that provide nectar. But if you really want to help butterflies, provide plants that they need in other parts of their life cycle, too. That’s the suggestion of Douglas W. Tallamy, famed author of Bringing Nature Home, who spoke in Western New York in March. Butterflies don’t lay their eggs on any old plant, Tallamy said in Bringing Nature Home. They lay their eggs…

maple seeds on tree with few leaves

Are you getting a bumper crop of maple seeds?

  by Connie Oswald Stofko Maple trees in my neighborhood are heavy with seeds, and some trees have few leaves. “These things happen in cycles,” said John Farfaglia, extension educator with Cornell Cooperative Extension in Niagara County. No one knows why it happens; it may follow a period of stress for the tree, he said. But since no one knows what conditions produce a bumper crop of seeds, there’s no way to predict when it will happen. What gardeners may…

Morty the corpse flower

Morty the corpse flower may bloom again within 6 weeks

We thought we might have to wait until 2024, but Morty the corpse flower, which bloomed in 2014 with the smell of rotting flesh, is ready to bloom again at the Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens. The corpse flower blooms just once every six to ten years. “It is hard to predict when the plant may be in full bloom, but our best estimate of bloom time would be within six weeks,” said Dave Swarts, president/CEO. Morty can grow about two…

rows of plants for sale

Weather looks warm enough for planting; get 4 spring planting tips

by Connie Oswald Stofko After a cold April, it finally feels like spring, and conditions look good for planting in Western New York. While frost can’t be ruled out completely, the chance of frost is “very, very small,” said Jim Mitchell, meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Buffalo. Even the deeper valleys in Allegany, Cattaraugus and Chautauqua counties should be fine because the rivers keep them warm at night. But besides frost, gardeners also have to be concerned about…

adult spotted lanternfly

Spotted lanternfly (SLF) can damage plants & keep you inside; please report sightings

  Please be on the lookout for an invasive insect called the spotted lanternfly (SLF). Not only can it damage many kinds of plants, it can secrete so much messy “honeydew” that people can’t go outside without getting honeydew on their hair and clothes, according to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC). The SLF was first found in Pennsylvania in 2014. A single, dead SLF adult was found in New York this past autumn. The SLF  is an invasive pest from…

arbor made of old ladders in Amherst NY

Deadlines coming up for Amherst, Hamburg garden walks

If you want to share your garden on the Amherst Garden Walk or Hamburg Garden walk, register soon. Amherst Garden Walk Applications are now available for the 2018 Amherst Garden Walk. Applications must be submitted no later than June 17. Sign up for the Amherst Garden walk online or get a printable application here and return it to the address on the form. The Amherst Garden Walk will be be held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, July 7. Hamburg Garden Walk…

Tomato CherokeePurple courtesy Burpee Home Gardens

What tomatoes taste the best?

  by Connie Oswald Stofko When I asked Jen Weber, retail manager at Mike Weber Greenhouses, for recommendations on the best-tasting tomatoes, I expected her to deliberate for awhile. I was surprised when she answered immediately. “Oh, that’s easy,” Weber said. “‘Cherokee Purple’, and for a red tomato, ‘Glamour’.” Those are both heirloom tomatoes. When I asked her for the best-tasting hybrid tomato, that question proved more difficult. “I don’t have a preference,” she said. “To me, they all taste the…

ginkgo 'Snow Cloud'

Botanical Gardens to hold Great Plant Sale; buy ginkgo trees

Ginkgo trees will be one of the new items to be offered at the Great Plant Sale to be held Thursday through Saturday, May 17-19 at the Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens, 2655 South Park Ave., Buffalo. Ginkgos are hardy plants that are used as street trees, said Kristin Pochopin, director of horticulture. Some people may be wary of ginkgo trees because the fruit is stinky and messy, but these trees are at low risk for fruiting. “These are low…

Smug Creek Gardens in Hamburg NY

Booklet for Open Gardens now available at garden centers

  You can now buy the booklet for Open Gardens, which lists all the information you need to visit more than 75 exceptional gardens during select hours on Thursdays and Fridays in July. The booklet is available for a $5 donation at many local garden centers– see the list here. You can also buy a copy at the Erie County Master Gardener Plant Sale on Friday and Saturday, May 25 and 26, at First Presbyterian Church, 1 Symphony Circle, Buffalo….

pest and weeds in spring

6 pests & weeds to watch out for during spring in WNY

  by Connie Oswald Stofko Now is the time that certain troublesome insects and weeds can show up in your garden, and now is the time to take action. Today we’ll talk about six insects and weeds to watch out for in spring: red lily leaf beetle, ticks, mosquitoes, lesser celandine, creeping Charlie and crabgrass. Red lily leaf beetle Calls have started coming in from gardeners who have spotted the red lily leaf beetle, so it’s time to look closely…

Visit our Comprehensive
Gardening Directory

Upcoming Events

Monday, Jul 23, 2018 | 8:00 am - 5:00 pm

Hodgepodge sale at Mischler's

Monday, Jul 23, 2018 | 10:00 am - 5:00 pm

Arcangel Gallery: Darleen Stry